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Volunteering and College Scholarships
Volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but many students are stumped when it comes to finding community service activities. Read this list of community service examples for scholarships and find ideas that will benefit others and help win money for school.
A LOT! Many organizations that offer scholarship money want to know what students are doing to help out their local communities. There are a TON of scholarships for volunteering available to both high school and college students.
It is important to note: Not only do the organizations want to know WHAT students are doing, but they also want to know HOW MANY HOURS students have volunteered all through high school and in college.
To the scholarship searching student, this means two very important things:
- Volunteer much as possible
- Keep careful and detailed track of each volunteer hour
I’ve written several articles on how volunteering and college scholarships go hand-in-hand, but today I’d like to give teens ideas about WHERE to volunteer. Feel free to share these community service ideas with college and high school students
Here are 30 awesome activities for volunteering with community service examples for scholarships:
(Stuck at home? Scroll down to find a complete list of community service ideas to do from home.)
- Church cleaning
- Vacation Bible School
- Teach or assist in religious education classes
- Weekly children’s church activities
- Raking leaves and grounds maintenance
- Help with fundraisers, choir membership
- Church-organized youth sports teams
- Help create and maintain websites/social media accounts
- Hold a bake-sale
- Offer to wash windows or mow lawns
- Have a car wash
- Help care for homeless pets at shelters
- Assist in delivering food with Meals on Wheels
- Read to young children
- Hold a book drive
- Teach adults in computer/internet skills
- Start an after-school reading club
- Tutor young students where they need extra help
- Take senior citizens grocery shopping
- Help with yard work
- Shovel snow
- Offer to take out garbage cans and bring them back in each week on trash day
- Babysit or become a mother’s helper to a financially strapped family
- Check-out and deliver library books for those without transportation
- Create a reading club for young children
- Walk dogs
- Participate in Adopt-A-Highway trash pick-up
- Start a newcomers club that welcomes students moving into the area
- Tutor before or after school
- Help a teacher grade papers
- Keep score/stats at sporting events
- Become an assistant coach for students on young teams
Don’t see anything tempting yet?
Become the founder of your own community service project in an area that interests YOU.
All three of my boys created their own volunteer projects, all with great success. In a nutshell, here are their projects:
Son #1 Collected medals from local runners and coaches to donate to a big children’s hospital. Physical therapists awarded the medals to kids in rehab.
Son #2 Convinced area restaurants to donate gift cards to our local community funded medical hospitality house. People with loved ones in the hospital need to eat too!
Son #3 Helped an inner-city FIRST Robotics team find sponsors to help fund much-needed robot parts and tools. This team’s improved robot came in 2nd place in their next competition!
For all three of their projects, I called our local paper and asked if they would like to do a story about their volunteer work. Much to my delight, all three of my sons’ projects were featured in the paper! People love to read about teens doing good, so don’t hesitate to let the press know what you or your teen is up to!
If you or your teen are unsure or hesitant about volunteering, volunteer as a family!
Read more on volunteering and scholarships here: Make It a Volunteering Summer
Parents can play a big role in helping their students win college scholarships by encouraging them to volunteer and do community service together.
Once students become familiar with giving their time and helping out others, they will become comfortable with volunteering on their own and make contacts with community leaders who will appreciate their good works. Also, these contacts are usually happy to write a letter of recommendation for college and scholarship applications.
Don’t miss: How to Get a Great Letter of Recommendation
Start now, no matter how old your student is, and teach them the importance of volunteering! Don’t forget how important it is to stay organized and keep track of each volunteer hour and contact made. Use the tips found here to develop good habits and establish a solid organizational plan.
30 Awesome Activities for Volunteering and College Scholarships Click To Tweet
Do you have any ideas to add for volunteering and college scholarships?
How about specific scholarships for volunteering?
I’d love to increase this list, so feel free to share in the comments section below.
2023 UPDATE: Volunteering opportunities may still be somewhat restricted because of COVID-19.
Use this list to find community service ideas while at home.
Thank you, Julia Byrd, Essay Coach, for granting me permission to share this great list of community service examples for scholarships!
Looking for more college scholarships? I highly recommend this book:
Monica Matthews is the author of How to Win College Scholarships. She helped her own son win over $100,000 in college scholarships and now shares her expertise with other parents and their students. She truly has “been there, done that” in regards to helping parents and students navigate the scholarship process.
Her method of helping students in finding college scholarships, writing unique and compelling scholarship essays, creating amazing scholarship application packets and more, have taught desperate parents to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.
Monica’s scholarship tips have been featured on many prominent websites and she has been dubbed the “Go-To” expert on college scholarships.
This is something I really didn’t do much of when I was younger. If only I had known you then!! 🙂
Great list, Monica!
Thanks, Jodie! I’m glad I know you now. Feel free to share my tips with your family and friends. 🙂
this is probably my favourite of all your posts, Monica, and that says a lot, since all your posts are good. But this one speaks to me on a personal level. Although we do not have scholarships here in France, I firmly believe that children should be introduced to voluntary work as early on as is realistic, and I think it is excellent that voluntary works count towards getting scholarships. I find you your sons’ ideas brilliant and inventive.
Thank you so much, Margaretha! 🙂
Your ability to unearth all of this good stuff is amazing.
Thanks, Carol. I love what I do! 🙂
Love Your ideas for voluntary work! Like Margaretha, the system in the UK is different. Here every teen,once they are 14/15, has to do a 2 week “work experience” at companies etc to help introduce them to a work environment as well as open up voluntary opportunities. I volunteer once a month at a charity run cafe/book shop and during the school holidays/ weekends if I’m on duty, my youngest son who is 10 often comes with me – he washes up, does the till, cleans up Must say, I loved your son’s idea re food vouchers for those hospital guests. In fact, all 3 sons did you proud.
That’s so interesting, Linda! I love how your son volunteers with you. What we model to our kids really does stick with them. 🙂
Volunteering is something I always want my kids to do, yet it hardly gets done. I’ve found that a lot of the places have age requirements which makes it difficult!
Christina, have you tried volunteering as a family?
Great idea getting the local paper to highlight your sons’ volunteer work. So many things on your list its very comprehensive and useful.
Thank you, Sue! I’ll admit that I had to be persistent with the paper, but it paid off!
These are great ideas. I love the creativity of your sons in creating their own volunteer projects.
Thanks, Jennifer! We brainstormed ideas and I helped them really think about what meant a lot to them so they would be truly invested in their projects. 🙂
LOVE this, Monica! Makes me almost wish my kids were still in school so I could encourage them to be doing so much more for their futures! Guess I can work with the grandkids! My son and daughter did learn at an early age to do voluntary chores such as picking up litter wherever we found it, though we didn’t track the hours! I was thrilled when our daughter still in high school helped gather food and household items and distributed them to families. And our son volunteered with a non-profit talking to teens about responsible sexual activity! He also helped coach kids in polevault and she coached in running!
You are doing such great work here, Monica, helping students and families secure financial benefits!
Thank you so much, Sharon! You should be so proud of your kids. Isn’t it wonderful when they take what we taught them while growing up and continue doing good as adults? **Warm Fuzzies** 🙂
What a wonderful list!
Thank you, Mandi!
Good suggestions. Not for the purposes of scholarships, but I did voluntary work when I was at school and uni with kids in school and with a HIV support charity. It’s good life experience.
I agree, thank you!
Why didn’t I meet you in 1994? Is there any good reason?????
Yes, the reason is your daughter! She will know all about scholarships when it comes time for her to go to college. 🙂
I love this so much!! We live in a very “homeless friendly” city so we carry around seasonally appropriate “goodie bags”. It’s hard for my toddlers to understand why someone doesn’t have a home, but I feel it’s important for them to grow up recognizing and empathizing with those in need.
What a wonderful idea, Amber! Your little ones are absorbing your compassion. I love this!
Oh my gosh! I read this blog at just the right moment! Hubby and I have been discussing college costs and we’re a little nervous because it’s so expensive. Our kids are just hitting their teens and they’ll be able to do so many of the options on this list. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! 🙂
I’m so glad you found me, Lisa! Feel free to contact me anytime with your scholarship questions. You may also be interested in my scholarship prep post found here. Have a beautiful day! Monica Matthews